Tanzania Opposition Demand Reform of Electoral Body

Dar es Salaam — An alliance of opposition parties in Tanzania on Wednesday, May 22 called for the creation of an "independent" electoral commission, with local elections due in October and a presidential poll next year.

The parties that met today at the ACT Wazalendo headquarters in Dar es Salaam are CCK, NLD, NCCR Mageuzi, Chaumma, UPDP, Chadema, DP and the hosts ACT Wazalendo.

The opposition parties say that despite the victory of the decision of the directors to oversee the elections, they are preparing to open a court case that will put in place an Independent Electoral Commission.

"We demand and we are going to fight for the creation of an independent electoral commission," said Hashim Rungwe, a spokesman for a coalition of eight parties including main opposition group Chadema, at a press conference in Dar es Salaam.

"The head of the national election commission and other commissioners are named by the president of the Republic, who is currently John Magufuli," he said, adding that he was also the head of the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM).

"All these commissioners are members of CCM, and even on a municipal level, elections are supervised by officials appointed by the president," said Rungwe.

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He said that despite being a multi-party democracy on paper, the CCM was "player and referee".

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